Toby Keith has opened up about his battle with stomach cancer for the first time since revealing his diagnosis in June.
The 61-year-old country music star shared an update on his health and future touring plans during an appearance on CMT‘s “Hot 20 Countdown.”
“I’m thinking about getting back into fighting shape,” Keith said in a preview of the interview that was shared on social media.
He continued: “I need a little time to rest and heal.”
“It’s pretty debilitating to have to go through all that,” the “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” hitmaker admitted.
“But as long as everything stays on track, we’ll see something good down the road.”
“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” he wrote. “I have spent the last 6 months receiving chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. So far so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I’ll see the fans sooner rather than later. I can’t wait.”
The “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” singer subsequently canceled all of his planned shows for the rest of the year. However, he did make a surprise appearance at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Lexington, Kentucky, on November 4, where he reportedly performed songs like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “I Love This Bar” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
On November 8, Keith received the BMI Icon Award at the BMI Country Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, joining a prestigious list of past recipients that includes Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. jr.
Last month, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church paid tribute to Keith when he was honored at the BMI Country Awards. ((Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for BMI)
During the ceremony, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church paid tribute to Keith, performing covers of “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “I Love This Bar.”
Keith is a longtime advocate for families facing cancer diagnoses and helped found Ally’s House in 2004, a nonprofit group that helps Oklahoma children with cancer and their families.
The non-profit organization is named for Allison Webb, the two-year-old daughter of Keith’s original band member Scott Webb and his wife Lisa. Allison died in 2003 of kidney cancer before her third birthday.
Following in the footsteps of Ally’s House, he established the Toby Keith Foundation in 2006 “to promote the health and happiness of pediatric cancer patients.”
“In 2014, the foundation launched OK Kids Korral, a free, convenient, and comfortable home for pediatric cancer patients receiving treatment at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Stephenson Cancer Center, and other nearby facilities,” reads the Foundation’s mission statement. the foundation.
Earlier this week, Keith shared a touching photo on Instagram showing him holding a young cancer patient as they both smiled and gave a thumbs up.
Like if you’re celebrating #GivingTuesday by donating to @tkfoundation1! she wrote in the caption of the photo. “Your donations make OK Kids Korral possible, a home away from home for children fighting cancer and their families.”
Fox News‘ Tracy Wright contributed to this report.
Ashley Hume is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital. Story suggestions can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @ashleyhume